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Brian R
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PostTue Jan 19, 2021 8:35 am 
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Ski wrote:
Oh... and let's not overlook:

It was a private business, not the City of Seattle or King County, that went down into the lower Duwamish River and traced the source of the raw sewage being introduced into the waterway to the hundreds of motor homes and campers in which homeless people were living down in the south end of Seattle.

Great job, Mayor Durkan and King County Executive Dow Constantine! up.gif


Inside Seattle, look for ideology and raw political power to trump the environment every time. Elsewhere in the state, look for Seattle ideology, political power, and environmental law to be enforced without mercy.

Ski, re sewage 'treatment,' I'll admit I don't know a lot about how it works beyond the brown stuff. I suspect some of the other nasties I listed above remain unaltered?
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Brian R
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PostTue Jan 19, 2021 8:59 am 
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Tom wrote:


Well my point was plastics don't break down.  Raw sewage?  How about 100 years from now?  Or 1,000?  Or 10,000?  Yeah, the earth will likely have more important issues than morons that used astroturf as dam material and hypocritical Seattleites that refused to dig up and replace their city sewer system to eradicate raw sewage spills.

This is the "just throwing up the hands" part? wink.gif
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Randito
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PostTue Jan 19, 2021 10:26 am 
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The important thing to remember is that Brian R has injected this thread about an environmental issue using the standard propaganda technique Whataboutism to distract from the issue at hand.

Seattle and King county issues with sewage and run off disposal are a serious issue and if they are to be discussed they merit a separate thread.
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altasnob
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PostTue Jan 19, 2021 10:35 am 
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This recent study suggest a chemical found in tires, 6PPD-quinone, is one of main factors contributing to the decline of salmon, and consequently, orcas, in the Puget Sound. So the more one drives, the more one is contributing to the demise of salmon. So one could argue that people in Seattle, who take public transit more, and drive less, than other cities in Washington, are less responsible than other Washingtonians for destroying the Puget Sound ecosystem. The electron dam operators dumped rubber tire pellets in the Puyallup River.

King County should be held responsible for dumping raw sewage in the Puget Sound. But to put it in perspective, the recent spill dumped 11 million gallons of untreated wastewater into Puget Sound and 2.3 million gallons into Lake Washington, according to King County officials. This water was a mix of 80% stormwater and 20% raw sewage.

The 2017 spill dumped more than 250 million gallons — all of which was raw sewage — into the sound and despite this, the county concluded no environmental damage had been done (yes, it is the county and not an independent agency or organization making that determination). Every year, King County treats 70 billion gallons of wastewater.

Until recently, Victoria, BC, had been dumping 100% of their raw sewage in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, 82 million liters of raw sewage daily. And while King County should be held accountable, the recent sewage spills are a drop in the bucket compared to all the other factors that contribute to polluting the Puget Sound.
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Ski
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PostTue Jan 19, 2021 12:09 pm 
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"Whataboutism" and "drop in the bucket" notwithstanding, the fact that this is inexcusable remains true.
We possess the technology. We possess the means.
We (collectively) lack the will to address the issue.
This is, as Mr. R. alludes to, attributable in a large part to leadership that simply has their priorities screwed up.

The issue of the chemical recently found in tires to be causing mortality in returning salmonids is going to need to be addressed on a global level. That is a fight for another day.

Local wastewater treatment plants can be addressed at the local level.

By all means, start a new thread about wastewater treatment plants and their effect on marine life and endangered species in Puget Sound.
The problem there is that most people don't want to talk about turds, because it's so much more fun to bang the drum and repeat endlessly the canard about "old growth", which (in the context of this thread) is a huge "maybe" and (in my humble opinion) a non-issue at present.

The facts about "old growth" have been pointed out above - some people just don't want to accept them and would rather make noise about imaginary problems, like cannibalistic cabals of devil-worshipping pedophiles running the world.

Brian R wrote:
Ski, re sewage 'treatment,' I'll admit I don't know a lot about how it works beyond the brown stuff. I suspect some of the other nasties I listed above remain unaltered?

I'm not well-versed in how wastewater is treated either. I do know that here in Tacoma, sewage is treated, and stormwater is piped directly into Puget Sound untreated (something which I was horrified to learn considering that we still have idiots dumping stuff down storm drains, and people who insist on dosing their lawns with massive amounts of fertilizers and pesticides and herbicides, some of which do not, in fact, break down before they enter tidewater.) (see: chronic algae blooms in Lake Steilacoom, or the slow and agonizing and expensive death of aquatic life in Wapato Lake, Tacoma's largest lake)
The next-door neighbor I mentioned above has been in the business of environmental consulting, planning, and management for a long time and is a very sharp lady. Apparently the birth-control drugs dumped into toilets were a contributing factor in reducing the reproductive capacity of some species of marine life. I'm not a marine biologist either, so I'm not sure exactly how that works, but I have no reason to question the veracity of her observations.

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Tom
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PostTue Jan 19, 2021 1:32 pm 
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In regards to wastewater pollution, here is one advocacy / monitoring group.  They point to population growth, industrial activity, and climate change and advocate for strong, science-based solutions.

https://pugetsoundkeeper.org/current-priorities/wastewater-pollution/

Strangely this solution isn't mentioned?

Brian R wrote:
Actually fixing this problem will require Seattle to dig up almost every single street inside its borders, so I can understand why residents there are reluctant to do the right thing. Still, the rest of us follow the law--and so should you.
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Schroder
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PostTue Jan 19, 2021 2:40 pm 
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Ski wrote:
I'm not well-versed in how wastewater is treated either. I do know that here in Tacoma, sewage is treated, and stormwater is piped directly into Puget Sound untreated (something which I was horrified to learn considering that we still have idiots dumping stuff down storm drains, and people who insist on dosing their lawns with massive amounts of fertilizers and pesticides and herbicides, some of which do not, in fact, break down before they enter tidewater.)

I am well-versed and as a chemical engineer I've designed quite a few of them - particularly to handle much nastier stuff than a municipal plant would ever see.

It's a simple process:
1. Pretreatment - going through a screen to remove large solid material, which goes to a landfill
2. Primary Treatment - clarifiers & settling ponds to settle out & remove solids, which are dewatered and usually go to a landfill.
3. Secondary Treatment - old plants use large ponds with aerators for biological break-down of the organic material followed by large settling ponds (i.e. in Everett along I-5). Newer plants use bioreactors with oxygen and circulate an "activated" sludge stream to speed up the reaction, followed by settling out the sludge in clarifiers (i.e. Brightwater). Sludge from this stage is landfilled or sometimes used as fertilizer when it doesn't come in contact with food production.
3. Tertiary Treatment - the discharged wastewater is disinfected, usually with chlorine, before discharge.

A lot of dissolved chemicals pass through the system unless they react and precipitate with the standard chemicals used.

You size this system for average volumes so you have to store excessive flows coming in during a peak event. You can imagine how large that has to be if you're collecting all the stormwater when we have a weather system dumping an inch an hour. Seattle's West Point Plant was designed back in the 60's and wasn't intended to treat stormwater sewers. The real estate isn't there to do it either.

I can't get too worked up over the bypassing into the Sound during a storm. Yes, it has to be corrected but the impact to either humans or sea life is negligible.

Plastics dumped in the river - that IS something to get worked up over. It'll probably be in the sediment for a couple of centuries and it will kill fish and birds.
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PostTue Jan 19, 2021 3:13 pm 
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thank you, Schroder.

FTR: I'm not too happy about the Astro-turf dump in the upper Puyallup either. Cleaning it up will be a monumental task, if it's possible at all.

I still find it rather troubling that these "overflows" have not been addressed in any real meaningful way, and yet developers and builders are required to design and construct elaborate (and very expensive) containment systems when building single-family homes (or apartments or businesses) to contain all stormwater on site.

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Tom
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PostTue Jan 19, 2021 3:40 pm 
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Ski wrote:
I still find it rather troubling that these "overflows" have not been addressed in any real meaningful way

Says who?  Lots of unsubstantiated bluster about refusals to make requisite investments.  Per the link above:

Quote:
King County and the City of Seattle are required to control their combined sewer overflows, or CSOs, by 2025 and 2030, respectively.  Each municipality prepared a plan to limit their CSOs to one overflow, per outfall, per year.  To meet this limit, these municipalities planned projects to separate parts of the combined sewer, to add additional storage capacity to the system, and to build new treatment facilities to control their CSOs.   
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Ski
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PostTue Jan 19, 2021 4:46 pm 
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Respectfully, Tom, planners and managers have been aware that there's been a problem for decades. This is not a new issue.
The public hearings I attended on the Northwest Landing project took place in the early and mid 1990s.
We managed to put a man on the moon in less time.

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Tom
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PostTue Jan 19, 2021 4:53 pm 
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I wouldn't disagree historically, but your claim was that overflows have not been addressed in any real meaningful way which I'm not sure is accurate.
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Ski
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PostTue Jan 19, 2021 5:41 pm 
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If they haven't taken the actions necessary to insure that these overflow spills don't occur, I'd say that's a problem.
From the articles Brian R cited above, it would appear that these events were caused by power outages (as opposed to some failure in the treatment operation), which seems to be a no-brainer: install some emergency power generators.
Am I missing something there?

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Tom
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PostTue Jan 19, 2021 6:03 pm 
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Not sure it's as simple as going to home depot to pick up some emergency generators.  I doubt that qualifies as "scientifically sound".  You may not agree the action plan goes far enough but there is one and advocacy groups are involved in monitoring.

https://pugetsoundkeeper.org/current-priorities/wastewater-pollution/

Quote:
Puget Soundkeeper participates in Seattle and King County’s Long-Term Control Plan Update processes to track ongoing progress, and to ensure that projects are designed and implemented in an equitable and scientifically sound manner.
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Brian R
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PostTue Jan 19, 2021 11:12 pm 
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From the soundkeepers website you link above:

In 2013, King County and the City of Seattle entered into settlement agreements, called Consent Decrees, with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) due to years of Clean Water Act violations.  For decades, these municipalities discharged raw sewage into Puget Sound and nearby waterways from their combined sewer systems.  King County and the City of Seattle are required to control their combined sewer overflows, or CSOs, by 2025 and 2030, respectively.  Each municipality prepared a plan to limit their CSOs to one overflow, per outfall, per year.  To meet this limit, these municipalities planned projects to separate parts of the combined sewer, to add additional storage capacity to the system, and to build new treatment facilities to control their CSOs.  

Now eight years along, have any of these three projects been completed? or even started? I think the answer is no. Am I wrong?
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Tom
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PostTue Jan 19, 2021 11:52 pm 
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My guess is they have made investments.  Can you commit to compliance by 2025 and do nothing with groups like soundkeepers keeping you honest, assuming they are a legit watchdog?  Same for regulatory authorities, I'd be surprised if they would let you BS your way, not sure.  Seems Portland made some fairly significant investments, FWIW.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Side_CSO_Tunnel
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